No Kurdification policy in Rojava’s educational system: PYD official

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Pupils in a schools in Qamishli holding books from the new Kurdish curriculum introduced yb the Auto-Administration in northern Syria. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Sihanouk Dibo, the presidential advisor of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which leads the Rojava Self-Administration, denied on Sunday reports about a possible “Kurdification policy” in the education system in Rojava-Northern Syria.

In an exclusive interview with ARA News, Dibo saidL “The social contract that was completed and agreed upon by the representatives of all components in Rojava three years ago discussed these matters in greater detail.”

“Curriculum is introduced in the three language, including Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac. Everyone has the right to choose a second language in addition to their mother tongue. This is the mechanism where they unanimously agreed on,” he stated.

Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute, recently wrote in an article that the Kurds are following a system of Kurdification.

“The Kurdification of the education system will provoke a new wave of departures among Christians and Muslim Arabs who do not conceive of their future in a Kurdish canton,” Balanche wrote.

“After imposing Kurdish in most public schools, the authorities also want to impose it on private Christian schools starting in September 2017. Public secondary schools will also be forced to teach Kurdish. Thousands of Arab teachers will find themselves unemployed and replaced by Kurdish professors. Qamishli Becomes Qamishlo,” he said.

“Qamishli is experiencing an advanced Kurdification process. It is hard to know how far the PYD will go in its “cooperative” economic project, but it is likely that it will only serve to reverse the power relations between the Kurds and the Arabs,” Balanche added.

According to freelance journalist Can Mirzo it’s unlikely that Arabs and Christians are forced to learn Kurdish.

However, Kurds are not allowed to study in Christian schools by the local administrations.

“In Dirbesiye they banned Kurds to send their kids to private Christian schools or to the churches, because even Christian churches were giving lessons on a private basis,” Mirzo told ARA News.

“But I am sure that Arabs or Christian not forced to get Kurdish language at schools,” he said.

In November 2015, sixteen Assyrian and Armenian organizations issued a joint declaration to express rejection toward any interference by the local Kurdish-led self-administrations in the private schools.

“Any interference into church private schools in Hasakah province in unacceptable. These institutions are sanctioned by administrative and education authorities. Pressure on these institutions is viewed as an interference in the education and upbringing of Christian children and adolescents,” the organizations said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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